Friday, November 18, 2011

SIgns and Symbols

           This is a response that I offered to a person on the Occupy Wall Street forum, in response to their idea that we might embark on changing our economic system by removing the NYSE sign, as a changing of the guard.

           The process through which we promote Democracy cannot embody the same ethos as that which we are trying to correct. It does not make sense. Taking down symbols is a superficial change. The biggest change is that which has to happen in our minds and it has to be a collective action of honoring each other above and beyond what the status quo chooses to honor us. It means recognizing a persons intrinsic value and valuing labor, their talents and what makes them unique, as well as just like everyone else. It means sharing what needs to be shared. It means not valuing ones stature and occupation above another person. It is not simply unemployed people who are marching, but those who realize how precarious their own circumstances are even with a job and a home. What is the value of a job, a title, a salary if it could, has been and likely will be taken away from you? Conversely, is the high premium that we all place on money and stature the reason why people work so hard to hang on to this ideal and amass wealth...even if it is to the detriment of so many people?  Probably.  It is not until more people realize that this movement is about them, about questioning the value of what they do for a living and questioning how it truly serves them and the world they live in, regardless of how much money that have.  It is not right that money is used to exploit and bully people, but this is not new to the human experience.  It cannot continue to be enough to a person to have a secure job...and this is a great time to shrug off this veneer. People will have to be willing to do different jobs and perform different tasks. In the developed world the ideal lifestyle that is promoted is largely artificial and divorced from the human condition. The status quo is arrogant, it is a ruse. According to Mayor Bloomberg and his ideal economic order, the super wealthy are the creative class and other people work for vague as it is absurd. Clearly they are not creative enough, because we would have functions in society that were worth a damn. What they are good at is taking and destroying. Creativity is about creating and giving. When the NYSE sign comes down, if it comes down, it would be better if it goes down not as a ceremonious attack, but because of its basic lack of utility that is understood by the greater society.  It might come down for the purpose of seeing more of the sky...then again I don't even know where this sign is.

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